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Indonesia to set up task force on bird flu epidemic
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-23 22:49:21

    JAKARTA, Nov. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- The Indonesian government will set up a special task force in December at the latest to integrate information regarding the bird flu epidemic that broke out in the country in July, an official said here on Wednesday.

    "This service is to be formed to integrate officials' statements so that they will not make people even confused or uncertain," Antara news agency quoted the secretary to coordinating minister for people's welfare, Sutedjo Yuwono, as saying.

    He said the new service was aimed at providing as much information as possible regarding bird flu in the country to the people including prevention efforts.

    The service would be manned by officials from various professional organizations and offices concerned and would become the only gate for information on bird flu, said the official.

    He said the government was also planning to cooperate with academic institutions to spread information on bird flu and its prevention efforts.

    Until Monday, the Health Ministry has received reports on 178 suspected bird flu cases in the country but 112 of the cases poved to be negative.

    He said 11 cases had been confirmed positive of bird flu and seven of them had led to death.

    He said 54 other cases were currently still being examined and 20 patients with suspected bird flu had died.

    The cases spread in 11 provinces namely Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, East Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Lampung, Yogyakarta and Bali.

    The Indonesian government had so far designated 44 hospitals for suspected bird flu patients to be referred to and the number would be increased to 100 in an effort to deal with the problem.

    He said the government had also prepared a laboratory to test bird flu virus and actively cooperated with international institutions to deal with it. Meanwhile, the government had also allocated special funds for it, he added. Enditem 

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